The Ninth U.S. Circuit Appeals Court ruled that the law on protection of personal data on the Internet also applies to foreigners' accounts created on U.S. Internet resources.
The Court considered a claim by the Australian authorities who demanded access to the e-mails of an Indian citizen suspected of fraud. Since his e-mail box was registered on the U.S. Hotmail service, the request was sent to the owner of the resource - Microsoft. Microsoft refused to grant the request, after which the Australian authorities filed a suit.
A Federal court in Seattle first sided with the plaintiff, but subsequently revoked its decision at the request of Microsoft. The company in the petition referred to the American Law on the Protection of electronic communication systems that access to clients' e-mails cannot be provided to third parties. According to the court, the law does not limit the list of persons whose personal data are protected to U.S. citizens.